- Editor’s Note: This is the second of Kane County Connects’ PROGRESS 2015 report, a series of articles highlighting Kane County communities’ top development projects of the year.
Progress is never in short supply for Illinois’ second-biggest city.
This year is no exception with the continuation of two major, multi-year, projects: reconstruction of the Indian Trail Bridge and Ogden Avenue railroad overpass, and the full run of sewer replacement on New York Street and Galena Boulevard. The city has a lot happening in 2015, but here are the three worth keeping an eye on.
(1) Indian Trail Bridge Reconstruction
The complete reconstruction of the Indian Trail Bridges over the Fox River began during the summer of 2014 with work on the East Bridge and continues through this summer on the West Bridge.
The $10 million project — of which Aurora contributed $2.18 million from motor fuel tax money and federal funding kicked in $8.7 million — involves the replacement of the concrete deck, widening both bridges, as well as new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, railings, street lighting. The work also includes improved drainage, pavement markings and landscaping. The project was contracted through the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Complete closure of the West Bridge began March 2015 and will continue until the fall. Motorists should detour to Sullivan Road or Illinois Avenue.
As of late May, the project remains on schedule, according to the city’s website. D Construction has successfully widened all six concrete piers serving the west bridge over the Fox River. The contactor is now focusing on setting the new steel beams that will support the wider replacement bridge deck. Upon completing the beam installation, the existing bridge deck will be entirely removed, which will allow for rehabilitation of the existing steel beams to remain. In addition to the west bridge work, D Construction’s subcontractor, Crown Painting, has substantially completed cleaning and painting the steel beams for the east bridge.
For more information and cool photos, visit the West Bridge Project page on the city of Aurora’s website.
(2) Ogden Avenue and Canadian National Railroad Grade Separation
If you’ve driven along Ogden Avenue (Route 34) in the last few years, no one needs to tell you about the potential for delays where the road and railroad meet.
Now in its second year, construction of a new overpass and other features continues with an expected completion date in 2016. Once finished, the area will have the overpass, sidewalks, a multi-use path, traffic signals and retaining and noise abatement walls all in the name of safety and to help alleviate train-related congestion.
Approximately two-thirds of the $40 million grade separation project will be paid for by Canadian National Railway, which took over the section of track stretching through much of Kane County in 2008. The city is contributing a total of $600,000 from motor fuel tax and its water and sewer fund, the latter of which is for water main work in the area.
Traffic is limited to one lane in each direction, which means delays should be expected for motorists.
(3) New York Street and Galena Boulevard Storm Sewer Separation and Two-Way Conversion
The end of one-way sections of Galena and East New York streets will be one of the final results when the city completes this near East Side project in the fall.
Aurora is spending $4 million to replace 10,600 feet of storm sewers to a separated system designed to reduce sewage backups into basements and minimize discharge into the Fox River. The sewer work is ongoing along Galena and New York from Root Street to Smith Street, and includes side streets.
Once the sewer work is wrapped, New York and Galena will become two way streets from Broadway to Ohio Street. Traffic is reduced to one lane on each street, although local businesses in the area remain open.
Find out more about the New York and Galena project by checking out the city’s website.
Read the Progress 2015 Series
About Aurora, IL
Once a mid-sized manufacturing city, Aurora has grown tremendously since the 1960s. From 2000 to 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the city as the 46th fastest growing city with a population of over 100,000.
In 1908, Aurora officially adopted the nickname “City of Lights,” because it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881. Aurora’s historic downtown is located on the Fox River, and centered on Stolp Island.
The Aurora area is home to an impressive collection of architecture, including structures by Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bruce Goff and George Grant Elmslie. The Hollywood Casino Aurora, a dockside gaming facility with 53,000 square feet and 1,200 gaming positions, is located on the river in downtown Aurora. Aurora is also home to a large collection of Sears Catalog Homes (over 50 homes) and Lustron all-steel homes (seven homes).